What does backsliders wine mean

What is a dry wine?

Almost everyone can relate to the term dry when it comes to wine. Dry simply means “not sweet”. Or is it not that easy after all? Bettina R. from Dabendorf asked us that. Wine expert Stefan dedicates himself to the topic.

When a wine is described as dry, this is always a statement about the sugar content. Since the sugar is never 100 percent converted into alcohol during alcoholic fermentation, dry wines also contain residual sugar. This can strive towards zero, but according to official legislation in German-speaking countries, a dry still wine may contain up to 4 grams of sugar per liter. In special cases it can even be 9 grams of sugar - but only if the acid content is a maximum of 2 grams lower than the residual sugar. The following example makes it easier to understand: A wine with 9 grams of residual sugar must have at least 7 grams of acidity to be considered dry. The reason for this lies in the fact that a wine with a pronounced acidity reduces the impression of sweetness. A regulation that makes perfect sense, especially for wines like Riesling.

What does dry mean in a sparkling wine?

As a rule, sparkling wines not only have a very high acid content, the carbon dioxide also reduces the impression of sweetness. Therefore, a sparkling wine is called dry if it contains between 17 and 32 grams of residual sugar - an amount that would make a still wine "lovely". You can read more about the names on sparkling wines in our magazine article Champagne, Sekt, Crémant, Cava & Co.

Winzersekt producers' association
WF 1 Winzersekt dry 2018

Why is it actually called "dry"?

On closer inspection, the term dry actually seems strange, because wine is a liquid and therefore not dry. The explanation lies in looking at winemaking. Alcoholic fermentation converts sugar into alcohol. Therefore, wines with little sugar always have more alcohol than wines with pronounced residual sugar. And since alcohol is not only soluble in water, but also removes it from its surroundings, the term dry suddenly makes sense again.

Do tannins characterize a dry wine?

Even if alcohol can cause a dry feeling in the mouth due to the dehydrating effect described above, a dry wine is often mistaken for a tannin-rich wine. How often have I heard: "I hope the wine isn't too dry, I don't like that". And this perception is actually not astonishing either. Tannins are tannins that attack our oral mucosa and leave a dry, almost furry impression on the palate. However, this has nothing to do with a wine that is described as dry.

Do you have any further questions? Write to: [email protected]

Dry red wines:

Dry white wines

What did you think of the article?
4.25 stars | 8 ratings